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Making Contacts / On the Air - Have a question about getting on the air or how to make a contact? Just want to brag about your latest DX contact or contest score? This is the forum for you.

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  #201 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2016, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by W6SAE View Post
Today on 20 meters, I worked N4DA in Georgia (2020+ miles), as well as W0MNA and W0ERI in eastern Kansas (1390+ miles). I was operating portable on top of Pine Hill (elevation 2059 ft.), in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento in Northern California. It was about 1:25 in the afternoon PST. This was my first time operating on SSB for Summits On The Air--in fact, my first time operating on HF ever.

I'm quite pleased with the results, especially as I put this activation together at the last minute. I was feeling pretty disorganized and was not expecting much.

I was pushing 50 watts from my Yaesu FT-857D, through an LDG Z-11 Pro II tuner to a Yaesu ATAS-25 vertical antenna. This was my first time operating this portable rig; I have no complaints about the performance of any of these components.
Wow sounds like the propagation Gods are being kind again.
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  #202 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2016, 12:31 AM
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Wow sounds like the propagation Gods are being kind again.
On a related note, my only 40-meter contact that day was a little less than four miles away...if I'd had binoculars, he probably could have waved at me.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:59 AM
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Sorry Tony I'm working 10pm-6am for the next three weeks. Sunday night is my Monday but Friday night if you want we can surely try. You tell me where and when and I will go on!!!😊
I have to work Friday evening. I'll PM you if I can get off at a decent hour. 73!
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:53 PM
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I have to work Friday evening. I'll PM you if I can get off at a decent hour. 73!
Ok Tony sounds good!!! 73 😊
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:33 PM
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:30 AM
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Wow very nice!!! Jim do you think from my QTH of north jersey could I work Hawaii on let's say SSB running 100 watts? So far I have heard Hawaii so far down in the noise and faint that I didn't even attempt to try. It was a good experience or experiment for me to teach myself all about noise reduction tools on my radio. I will continue to try for Hawaii and Alaska. Again congratulations of those sweet QSO's!!!
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:24 AM
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Wow very nice!!! Jim do you think from my QTH of north jersey could I work Hawaii on let's say SSB running 100 watts?
On what band(s)?

Here's a partial list of Hawaii stations worked over the last 6 years:

20m PH 03/07/10 0030 KH7X
80m PH 03/07/10 1108 KH6LC

10m PH 03/06/11 2013 KH6YR
15m PH 03/06/11 2152 KH6YR

10m PH 03/03/12 1941 KH7X

15m PH 03/02/13 2104 NH7NJ
15m PH 03/02/13 2213 NH6Y

15m PH 03/01/14 0100 KH6LC

20m PH 2015-03-07 0439 KH7M
20m PH 2015-03-08 0539 KH7XX
20m PH 2015-03-08 1953 KH6LC

15m PH 2016-03-05 2126 KH6LC
40m PH 2016-03-06 1221 KH7M
40m PH 2016-03-06 1227 KH6J
10m PH 2016-03-06 2057 KH6RS
10m PH 2016-03-06 2058 KH7M

All of the above were done in the yearly ARRL DX SSB contest in March. All of them worked with 100 watts. If you want to work almost anything, you'll find it in a contest. The March contest isn't the only one I participate in, BTW. I also do the CQWW SSB contests and the Delaware QSO Party. I'm sure I could pull a few Hawaii stations from those contests as well.

The point here is that working Hawaii isn't really a problem, if you have both propagation (which there is on some band at some point in the day, nearly every day) and a reasonably good antenna. A reasonably good antenna can be a vertical (with a good radial field), a simple 20m dipole at 35-45 feet (if 20m is the band you want), or some form of multi-band wire antenna at a minimum height of 35 feet. The antenna also has to be oriented in a way so that any radiation lobes are pointed at your target area.

I run nothing but wire antennas. There are 6 of them, covering 160m to 10m. I built all of them. The list includes:

1) An 80m doublet (134 feet long) suspended between 2 trees at roughly 64 feet. This antenna is fed with ladder line and is used on any band from 80m to 10m.
2) A 40m horizontal loop at roughly 35 feet. This antenna is also fed with ladder line and is used on most bands from 40m to 10m.
3) A 51 foot doublet at roughly 40 feet. Also fed with ladder line and used on 40m to 10m.
4) A 67-68 foot wire vertical with a top hat of two 41 foot wires. This is the 160m antenna.

There is no tower here. I can't afford one and probably never will. Except for 6m and up, there is no beam antenna of any kind. You don't need one to work DX. You might need one if you want to get to Honor Roll, but for garden variety DX, it's not required.

I know that I've veered way off the topic of this thread, but this is a subject I tend to get carried away with. I am not antenna expert. There are people out there who know more about antennas than I would ever learn if I had another 20-30 years to learn it. Probably not even then. I do, however, know just enough to be dangerous.

Last edited by kj3n; 12-06-2016 at 11:37 AM..
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  #208 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2016, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by kj3n View Post
On what band(s)?

Here's a partial list of Hawaii stations worked over the last 6 years:

20m PH 03/07/10 0030 KH7X
80m PH 03/07/10 1108 KH6LC

10m PH 03/06/11 2013 KH6YR
15m PH 03/06/11 2152 KH6YR

10m PH 03/03/12 1941 KH7X

15m PH 03/02/13 2104 NH7NJ
15m PH 03/02/13 2213 NH6Y

15m PH 03/01/14 0100 KH6LC

20m PH 2015-03-07 0439 KH7M
20m PH 2015-03-08 0539 KH7XX
20m PH 2015-03-08 1953 KH6LC

15m PH 2016-03-05 2126 KH6LC
40m PH 2016-03-06 1221 KH7M
40m PH 2016-03-06 1227 KH6J
10m PH 2016-03-06 2057 KH6RS
10m PH 2016-03-06 2058 KH7M

All of the above were done in the yearly ARRL DX SSB contest in March. All of them worked with 100 watts. If you want to work almost anything, you'll find it in a contest. The March contest isn't the only one I participate in, BTW. I also do the CQWW SSB contests and the Delaware QSO Party. I'm sure I could pull a few Hawaii stations from those contests as well.

The point here is that working Hawaii isn't really a problem, if you have both propagation (which there is on some band at some point in the day, nearly every day) and a reasonably good antenna. A reasonably good antenna can be a vertical (with a good radial field), a simple 20m dipole at 35-45 feet (if 20m is the band you want), or some form of multi-band wire antenna at a minimum height of 35 feet. The antenna also has to be oriented in a way so that any radiation lobes are pointed at your target area.

I run nothing but wire antennas. There are 6 of them, covering 160m to 10m. I built all of them. The list includes:

1) An 80m doublet (134 feet long) suspended between 2 trees at roughly 64 feet. This antenna is fed with ladder line and is used on any band from 80m to 10m.
2) A 40m horizontal loop at roughly 35 feet. This antenna is also fed with ladder line and is used on most bands from 40m to 10m.
3) A 51 foot doublet at roughly 40 feet. Also fed with ladder line and used on 40m to 10m.
4) A 67-68 foot wire vertical with a top hat of two 41 foot wires. This is the 160m antenna.

There is no tower here. I can't afford one and probably never will. Except for 6m and up, there is no beam antenna of any kind. You don't need one to work DX. You might need one if you want to get to Honor Roll, but for garden variety DX, it's not required.

I know that I've veered way off the topic of this thread, but this is a subject I tend to get carried away with. I am not antenna expert. There are people out there who know more about antennas than I would ever learn if I had another 20-30 years to learn it. Probably not even then. I do, however, know just enough to be dangerous.
Yeah I hear you. I think the folks with the wires do better then I do. My antenna is a Comet vertical up about 50-55 ft. Strapped to a flagpole in my yard. My best so far was South Africa. I will keep trying.
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  #209 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2016, 7:20 AM
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Michael, I live in central Indiana and I've worked Hawaii on 10, 12, 15, 20, 40, and 80m. Most contacts were using RTTY but a few were SSB. All were during contests or special event stations. My "DX" antenna is a ground-mounted 27-foot vertical (simple telescoping aluminum tube) with radials.

We've discussed your antenna in other forum topics. I can't encourage you enough to try something else besides the Comet vertical that you are using.
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  #210 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2016, 8:57 AM
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Yeah I hear you. I think the folks with the wires do better then I do. My antenna is a Comet vertical up about 50-55 ft. Strapped to a flagpole in my yard. My best so far was South Africa. I will keep trying.
No, you should lose the CHA-250B. It's holding you back.

I know you don't want to hear this, but you've picked one of the worst antennas on the market. It is grossly inefficient and you are losing a lot of your RF energy in the matching network. The other grossly inefficient HF vertical is the Diamond BB-7V.

Here's a couple of tips for anyone reading this thread:

1) If it's an HF vertical with no radials or counterpoise, it's inefficient. I don't give a rat's *** if you make contacts with it. People have made HF contacts using light bulbs. You're barely a step above that, IMO.
2) If the antenna is multi-band and has good SWR across all the bands without a tuner? Run away. A dummy load has good SWR across all the bands. All you've done is moved the dummy load from the shack to the outside.
3) If the HF antenna cannot handle legal limit (1500W), it's inefficient. It if can't handle at least 500W, it's really inefficient.

Any HF antenna (including the 250B) will work at the top of the solar cycle, assuming it's a good cycle. It's when the cycle bottoms out that you see the separation between the men and the boys when it comes to antennas.

When I got on HF as a General in 2001, I started out with an R-5 vertical. I got good results, including Oman and Qatar. It was the top (or near the top) of Cycle 23. That's the same cycle that got me Alaska on 6m SSB. I had a lot of fun.

It's now Cycle 24. It's been a bad cycle all around. A Comet CHA-250B is simply not enough to compete effectively in the HF arena, given the current solar cycle.
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Old 12-10-2016, 9:45 PM
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Thanks guys I hear the both of you. When money permits I will go get a a dipole and string it up around my fences or get creative back there. At field day we ran homemade dipoles up or around and they worked quite well.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:19 PM
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Your station is only as good as your antenna!!!!

My favorite antenna build info was from Lew McCoy.....

Put up as much wire as you can...as high as you can! Cut in the middle and feed it with ladder line or open wire feeders!!!!!

That particular bit of advice has worked for me for YEARS....home stations, portable stations, Field Day stations, etc....you get the picture!!!! I'm currently very frustrated that my current home does not have the room for much of a dipole, so experimenting with end fed things!!! But that's why its a hobby...wire doesn't cost much and its great fun to get out there and string something else up...

just my $.02 worth...
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Old 12-12-2016, 2:10 PM
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It has been awhile since I posted on the RR forums.... I have upgraded to the general class and have been enjoying HF for about 5 months. I have a basic setup for SSB of 100w and a dipole at 20 feet for bands 80 - 10m. Rig is a Kenwood TS-430s. I primarily work DX and contests. So far, I have worked 113 DX countries and all 50 states.

Some of my catches from the east coast include:

The Vatican City
Senegal
Japan (20/17)
Australia (40/20/15)
The Gambia (This morning)
Ascention Island
St. Helena
Aland Island
Greenland
Namibia
St. Pierre and Mquelon
St. Paul Island
Falkland Islands

I really need more Asian/ Pacific stations, but I am pretty happy with around 2,500 QSOs and 113 DXCCs in my first 5 months on HF.

As for contests, I worked CQ WW SSB for about 30 hours and made 303 QSOs to 60-odd countries, including quite a few ATNOs. My final score was 125,771.

I did a little bit of the ARRL SS SSB and made 251 QSOs and 32,128 points and picked up my last needed state -- Alaska.

Having lots of fun in the hobby!

I tried to attach a QSO map, so we will see if it works....

73 de KM4SII / IcomIcR20
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Old 12-12-2016, 5:38 PM
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Originally Posted by IcomIcR20 View Post
It has been awhile since I posted on the RR forums.... I have upgraded to the general class and have been enjoying HF for about 5 months. I have a basic setup for SSB of 100w and a dipole at 20 feet for bands 80 - 10m. Rig is a Kenwood TS-430s. I primarily work DX and contests. So far, I have worked 113 DX countries and all 50 states.

Some of my catches from the east coast include:

The Vatican City
Senegal
Japan (20/17)
Australia (40/20/15)
The Gambia (This morning)
Ascention Island
St. Helena
Aland Island
Greenland
Namibia
St. Pierre and Mquelon
St. Paul Island
Falkland Islands

I really need more Asian/ Pacific stations, but I am pretty happy with around 2,500 QSOs and 113 DXCCs in my first 5 months on HF.

As for contests, I worked CQ WW SSB for about 30 hours and made 303 QSOs to 60-odd countries, including quite a few ATNOs. My final score was 125,771.

I did a little bit of the ARRL SS SSB and made 251 QSOs and 32,128 points and picked up my last needed state -- Alaska.

Having lots of fun in the hobby!

I tried to attach a QSO map, so we will see if it works....

73 de KM4SII / IcomIcR20
Wow! Funny you should mention The Gambia station,I saw the spot,parked it there for a bit and couldn't hear him at all but I heard everybody calling him. I heard the jamician station real good but had to stop and get ready for work. Icon for five months your doing real good.
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Old 12-12-2016, 5:52 PM
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Wow! Funny you should mention The Gambia station,I saw the spot,parked it there for a bit and couldn't hear him at all but I heard everybody calling him. I heard the jamician station real good but had to stop and get ready for work. Icon for five months your doing real good.
I got him before the rest of the world found him.... I could barely hear him, but he got my call (I hope).

73 de KM4SII / IcomIcR20
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:27 AM
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I got him before the rest of the world found him.... I could barely hear him, but he got my call (I hope).

73 de KM4SII / IcomIcR20
I heard the other station trying to relay and everybody calling him but I could not hear him. That's how it went for me this morning with the Norwegian station he answered me the first time I threw out my call!! Radio is funny sometimes.😃
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Old 12-18-2016, 5:02 PM
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I worked 6W/UA4WHX/P in Senegal today on 17m SSB.... not an ATNO though because I worked 6W1RY on 15m during CQWW SSB. A new band for that DXCC is always good!

Also heard "Santa" a.k.a. OF9X here in NC, but too weak, so I gave him a call via a remote in Texas. He was working by numbers, but by the time he got to 4s, I made it through!

I was also able to work V51WH on 15m. I already have Namibia on 20m and 15m, but I had never worked that particular station.

Worked a few Europeans, Stateside, and Turks and Caicos as well, so, overall, a good day of DX!

Merry Christmas and 73 from KM4SII / IcomIcR20!
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Old 12-19-2016, 6:41 PM
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I worked 6W/UA4WHX/P in Senegal today on 17m SSB.... not an ATNO though because I worked 6W1RY on 15m during CQWW SSB. A new band for that DXCC is always good!

Also heard "Santa" a.k.a. OF9X here in NC, but too weak, so I gave him a call via a remote in Texas. He was working by numbers, but by the time he got to 4s, I made it through!

I was also able to work V51WH on 15m. I already have Namibia on 20m and 15m, but I had never worked that particular station.

Worked a few Europeans, Stateside, and Turks and Caicos as well, so, overall, a good day of DX!

Merry Christmas and 73 from KM4SII / IcomIcR20!
Cool!

I worked V51WW on 20 a few weeks ago. They are both Namibia stations. Can't say I worked V51WH yet.

Wish V51WW would confirm me on QRZ, only need an Africa station to confirm for Continents of the World Award. Got 4 African stations in the log, but no confirms.

Congrats on your DX so far, Merry Christmas, 73 and good DX!
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Old 12-22-2016, 5:45 PM
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Tony your killing me lol!!! Everyday I have been getting up about 8 or 9 am and hit the shack and it has paid off. I worked Namibia twice,Santa,Jamaica,Caymans Island.... I have been having a lot of fun. 17 is very good for me lately but then again so has 20 and 40.
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Old 12-23-2016, 9:00 AM
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Worked Santa on 20m a few days ago from the home station this time, not the remote. Santa's signal was much better this time. Got a good stateside run on 40m going before someone came on and basicly told me that the QSOs I was making were pointless and worthless. Then another guy started yelling some obscene language at the first operator. Needles to say after a minute or so of this I announced that I was going QRT.

I have had several incidences similar to this one, but I won't go into that. The funny thing is that this only happens on 40m with stateside stations.... not on the higher bands, and not with DX.

Getting ready to flip on the HF to see what is out there this morning....

73 de KM4SII / IcomIcR20
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